how to tune your drum kit
Here is something I came across at the world's biggest garage sale....eBay!!!
They do have some wonderful info pages about various things, and this is one
of them on tuning.....
We can always use these tools to make ourselves and our music better!!!
How to Tune Your Drum Kit
by: funstuffnow (powerseller on eBay)
I don't care if you're the World's Best Drummer... if your drum kit isn't tuned it won't sound pretty. With that being said, every drummer needs to be able to tune their drum set. There isn't one correct way to tune your drums, however, there are some basic rules you can follow to achieve the best results. It's always recommended that you tune your drums before recording or playing live.
Drum Tuning Overview
The most important thing to remember when tuning your drums is to keep the tension as even as possible around each drum head. Below are some general rules you should follow:
1) Use your drum key to remove all of the heads.
2) Before mounting the head, check the bearing edge for roughness or bumps.
3) Lay the head on the shell, mount the rim, and screw each tension rod in finger-tight first.
4) With a drum key, tighten each rod one full turn (360 degrees). (ed.note....as the drum pitch goes up, lessen the amount of a turn)
5) Tune one lug, and then tune the lug on its opposite side (180 degrees away). The drum tunes better when you don't tune these lugs in a circular sequence.
Tuning the Snare Drum
Follow these instructions to tune your snare drum:
1) Turn the snares off.
2) Tune the top head first. Turn each lug clockwise to increase the tension of the head and make the drum's pitch higher.
3) Tune one lug, and then tune the lug on its opposite side.
4) Repeat this sequence with the bottom head.
5) Test the pitch of each lug when finished by tapping about 1 inch away from the lug with a pencil eraser. Don't use a drumstick... it could break the head.
6) If there are any lugs that don't have the same pitch, adjust it accordingly, keeping in mind that tightening it gives the drum a higher pitch.
7) Once you know that all the lugs have equal pitch... your snare drum is tuned.
Tuning the Toms
Below are the instructions on how to tune your toms:
1) Tune the bottom head of each tom first.
2) Use the same tuning technique that you used to tune the snare... tuning each lug and then its opposite.
3) Tune the top head when the bottom head is finished. The top head is where the pitch is generated, so it's crucial to have an idea of what pitch you want to tune to... this usually depends on the style of music you play.
4) Check each lug's pitch so that it matches the others by tapping 1 inch away from the lug with a pencil eraser.
5) If you have more than one tom, most drummers like to tune their toms a 4th apart. To do this, sing the first two notes of "Here Comes the Bride" The notes of "Here" and "Comes" are a 4th apart... use this as your reference for pitch.
Tuning the Bass Drum
Below are the instructions on how to tune your bass drum:
1) Tune the front head first. You shouldn't spend too much time doing this because this head doesn't have much impact on the sound of the drum.
2) Tune each lug of the back head (the head that the pedal hits) using the technique used to tune the other drums.
3) Make sure your drum is tuned neither too high nor too low. Bass drum sounds really depend on the style of music you're playing and how much impact the drum has with the group you play with.
This is the basics of tuning your drum kit, and as stated some of it depends on the style of music you play. Some bands are easily recognized by the sound of a particular drum and that usually has to do with how they tuned it so they could get that uniqe pitch. The more you tune your drums, the better you will become and the more familiar you will be. I recommend listening to other drummers you like and try and tune your drums accordingly.
Thanks for reading this guide!!